October 26, 2015 / 8:34 AM / in 2 years

Sharp expects first-half operating loss due to falling prices for smartphone displays

A man using his mobile phone walks past a logo of Sharp Corp outside an electronics shop in Tokyo, Japan, in this July 31, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Sharp Corp on Monday said it would book an operating loss for April-September rather than a profit due to falling prices for smartphone displays, revealing little sign of a turnaround since a $1.7 billion bank bailout in May.

The electronics manufacturer expects to announce an operating loss of 26 billion yen ($215 million) when it reports earnings for the first half of the business year on Friday, instead of the 10 billion yen profit forecast in late July.

The company also lowered its full-year operating profit forecast to 10 billion yen from 80 billion yen.

The forecasts are likely to add to pressure on Sharp to find a buyer for part or all of its display business. Restructuring was a primary condition to securing a 200 billion yen package from banks in May, the second major rescue in just three years.

Sharp, once among the top suppliers to Apple Inc, has lost market share in recent years to the likes of South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd and domestic rival Japan Display Inc.

Critics said Sharp over-invested in manufacturing capacity over the past decade, failing to innovate enough to counter profit margin-eroding pressures.

Sharp shares closed at 137 yen earlier on Monday, down 49 percent in the year to date.

($1 = 120.9400 yen)

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher Cushing

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